Friday, 7 July 2017

How to give your kitchen some va va voom for less than £150

Since doing up my kitchen units, I've received so many messages about how I did it, so thought I'd better get my behind in gear and write a blog about it. So, if you follow me on Instagram, you'll most likely know that I've been undergoing bathroom, garden and kitchen works simultaneously, meaning that I've been doing a lot of throwback pics and photographing corners of my home where there isn't any evidence of men at work. As soon as my kitchen was tiled, I got stuck into updating the units and extractor fan (I knew that if I left it any longer, I would keep putting it off; poor Sienna gets blamed for a lot of these incidences). Here's what I did and my tips and tricks that I learned along the way...

Before. Perfectly fine, just not for me.


TALK TO THE EXPERTS: There was no way I was going to attempt to do this without seeking advice from my lovely followers, some of whom came up trumps with recommending primers, rollers, paint etc. I also asked (read interrogated) the lovely people in my local paint shop, who pointed me in the right direction of the Zinsser 1-2-3, which is perfect for laminate units as it's water based and there's no need to sand your surfaces prior to application; a great time saver if, like me, you'd rather spend your time Instastalking. Apply using a foam roller for smooth application and synthetic brushes in those hard to reach areas.

Metalwork sprayed and ready for priming. I used exactly the same process as the units to do the extractor hood.


DO WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN: I cannot stress this enough, but then again, I leave it at least one hour between coats of nail varnish. Zinsser says leave it a week before applying paint. Obey. You will live to regret it and you'll be buying a new kitchen before you know it, which defeats the object totally. I didn't lay the primer on thick, you just need enough to cover the units and it's OK if you can still see some of the colour underneath. If you run your hand over the primed surface, you shouldn't be able to feel any of the laminate underneath.

IT'S WHAT'S ON THE OUTSIDE THAT COUNTS: No, I'm not giving duff relationship advice and I know there'll be those that really disagree with me on this. I would've disagreed with me before I'd done it, but I'm so glad that I didn't try and paint the insides of the cupboards, as it took me a whopping FOUR coats of Farrow and Ball's Railings in Eggshell finish on the framework and both sides of the doors. I've since found out that if you can find a good dark water based primer, I probably could've done it in two. You live and learn, even if there are less tedious ways to do so. I painted the inside and outside of the doors- make sure you take them off to get even coverage around all edges. The classy bird that I am, I used cans of Carling that we can't seem to shift at family BBQs to hoist the doors off the floor, to make for quick and easy painting around the edges, which avoids excess paint gathering and that awful 'stickiness' you get when paint isn't spread thinly and evenly. I also painted the backs of the doors first, in case my Carling cans damaged them in anyway, it would be out of sight.

One coat of Farrow & Ball Railings. The moment I realised it wasn't going to happen in two coats as previously assumed. Ignore the Coco Pops.


UPCYCLE, UPCYCLE, UPCYCLE: You might hate your kitchen units, but if you look at them, are they in good nick? Are the knobs or handles OK too? If so, upcycle! I really wanted new handles, but couldn't justify the cost of getting them right now, so I simply sprayed my existing ones copper, and they surpassed my expectations!

My, what gorgeous knobs you have!



Total cost of upcycling units:
Zinsser 1-2-3 primer 1 litre - £21.10
2 X Farrow & Ball Railings in Eggshell 2.5 litre - £100
Rust-O-Leum Copper Spray - £7.98
Rollers - £9.54
Synthetic paintbrushes - £9.95
Total - £148.57
AKA- Much cheaper than a new kitchen.

Have a butcher's to see the results!

New units featuring the very gorgeous reclaimed leather rug from Elvis and Kresse you can save 12% on anything on their website with the code NESTTWENTYEIGHT12

So. Much. Better.


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